Three year old, Madeleine McCann was snatched from her bed in a hotel room during a family vacation in Praia da Luz in the Algarve, Portugal on May 3, 2007. The toddler’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, had put their three children to bed in a rented ground floor apartment that evening then, went to meet friends for dinner at a nearby tapas bar/restaurant, approximately 130 yards away.
At 9:oo p.m., Gerry McCann went to check on the three sleeping children, finding everyone safe and sound. However, sometime between McCann’s 9 p.m. check and his wife, Kate’s 10 p.m. check, Madeleine was missing from her bed while the other two children (two-year old twins) continued to sleep, undisturbed. A bedroom window was found opened at that point.
In between, apparently a couple of their friends had also passed by the unlocked apartment door to check briefly
Both Gerry and Kate McCann were cleared as being suspects in the case but, not easily or quickly. Portuguese police officials were quick to point their fingers at the parents. Gerry and Kate McCann have since won a libel suit and accepted 550,000 Lira as compensation.
DNA and toxicology testings have ruled out the McCanns of drugs and also ruled out the possibility that Madeleine’s twin siblings might have been sedated possibly (one can only guess) to rule out that the children had been sedated by either the parents or the abductor in order not to have awoken either while Madeleine was taken or to disrupt the McCann’s evening plans with friends.
In a police interview, a leak in information revealed that Madeleine had questioned her mother the morning before she went missing: “Mummy, why didn’t you come when we were crying last night?”
A couple of million dollars were raised to help the McCann’s find their daughter and the McCanns signed a deal to publish a book about their daughter’s disappearance.
Portuguese police interviews and released several suspects and one suspect sued police for libel and accepted £600,000 in damages.
April 24, 2012, some nearly 5 years since Madeleine went missing from her bed in The Algarve, Portugal, British police are pressing the case to be re-opened, believing that they have found new or “fresh” evidence that Madeleine may still be alive. Working with three different layers of investigators, they will go through some 40,000 pieces of information equating to about 100,000 pages. Working with the Portuguese investigation information, inquiries by the UK law enforcement agencies and their files as well as the work of private investigators or agencies, hired by the McCanns, they seek to put closure to this little girl’s disappearance one way or another.
Having poured through the pages of separate investigations, they now believe that it’s possible that Madeleine may still be alive.
They have released a photo that they believe Madeleine may look like today at the age of 9 years.
It was clear from the start that Portuguese police and investigators had possibly not done as thorough or forthright investigation as one would hope would have been done to have found a missing child. The apartment had been rented out again while still being considered a crime scene. Suspects were brought in and cleared but, their clearances were questionable at best and Portuguese police closed the case in 2008.
Metropolitan police have stated that they are pressing for the case to be re-opened after saying that, “Officers have so far identified around 195 such opportunities within the historic material, and are also developing what they believe to be genuinely new material.”
Prime Minister David Cameron responded to a plea from Madeleine’s parents Gerry and Kate to have Metropolitan police review the case and have now gotten their wish.
Sadly, for this little girl and her parents as well as her siblings who will now be seven years of age and not really known their missing sister, questions should be raised in everyone’s minds.
- Where were the Metropolitan police in this investigation from Day 1?
- How did Metropolitan police allow this case to be closed in the first place?
- Why are they only now, some 5 years after her disappearance, going over the records this closely?
- Why was this not done or being done all the way through this case?
- Why did Metropolitan police not get involved and question Portuguese investigative techniques nor, their investigation?
- Why did it take privately hired investigators to stir up two police forces (U.K. and Portuguese)?
In rides U.K. police, like The Calvary now, some nearly 5 years after the fact.
“We genuinely believe there’s a possibility that she is alive. I want to make a direct appeal. If you know where Madeleine McCann is or if you have any direct information or evidence about what happened to her, then please make contact,” Andy Redwood, of Scotland Yard’s homicide and serious crime command, has stated, as though the hero of the case.
Where was he for the past five years that this little girl has been missing?
Unfortunately though, while Gerry and Kate McCann have been cleared as suspects in their daughter’s abduction, there still rests a responsibility towards their own actions or lack of them in responsibilities, along with questions about them as well.
- Why were the McCanns so freely at ease in putting their 3 children, all 3 years of age and under, to bed in a foreign country, in an unlocked, rented apartment and going off for dinner with friends?
- From the leaked statement in which Madeleine had asked her mother why she hadn’t come to them when they were crying the night before, it appears as though the McCanns were regularly freely socializing with friends, away from earshot of their children in the evenings. What kind of safety is built-in for those toddlers?
- What if one of the two-year olds had have awoken, gotten out of bed and hurt themselves?
- What if Madeleine had have simply wandered off on her own with her parent out?
A three-year old and 2 two-year olds should never have been left alone, sleeping in a ground floor, unlocked apartment with their parents, sitting at a bar-restaurant at night. No matter how close they may have felt 130 yards was from where they were or whether they could see the door from the bar or not, they were in a noisy, crowded place, distracted by alcohol, food, friends and possibly music. Should something happen (as it did), screams could not have been heard by these parents. Nor, could they have kept an eye on the un-locked door of the apartment with all of those distractions throughout the evening.
More key to the point was the fact that even their friends had passed by the open door and easily checked in so, how easy could it have been for a complete stranger to have done the same thing?
My sense is that as a parent, you have a responsibility to your children first and foremost. If you’re going on a vacation where you’ll be socializing as much as possible with friends, either do so in a way in which your children can be kept safe or do not take your children with you. Either make it a family vacation or a friend socialized vacation but, don’t try to make it both because three children’s safety is at stake.
My hopes are that Madeleine will be found safe and alive but, even were she to be found alive, at this point, her mental and emotional status is at risk. She will have spent most of her life now with people or a person who she has come to know as her family or likely wondered where her own parents were at first. Great emotional trauma has already occurred and will grow in intensity should she be found alive, safe and healthy.
No matter which way we look at this case, there isn’t an easy or happy ending for this little girl and all because of selfishness or evil intents of the abductor as well as negligence in protection of their children’s safety on the parents’ behalf.
Such a sad case all around.
If you’re reading this blog and have any information, phone police and let them know. No tip is too small or silly.